Heneral Luna: A Masterpiece

A Philippine History

In 1898, the Spanish signed the Treaty of Paris which made them fled out of the Philippine terra firma. In the feat of the event Andres Bonifacio made an assembly which formed a Revolutionary Government under President Emilio Aguinaldo. But the year was never been the end of the Philippine tribulation, instead it became another start under their new conquerors – the Americans. Arriving from the continent of America which the American race had captured once more lays another battlefield of Politics and Liberty over the vast Philippine Archipelago. But She, the Philippines, was never been left alone for foreign domination however there are Brave Soldiers who are ready to offer their blood to her soil to pave the Freedom for Filipinos; a Valiant Soldier who held a position in power and ready to smite another oppressor in hand. A name that recognized by many; a name which the Military salute to; the name upholds by General McArthur himself; the name was General Antonio Luna.

The year of 1898, held a specific quantity to the Americans – the reception of Manila. Together they march their battalion to Intramuros conquering the Philippines. For many politicians who were hoaxed by the sugar coated words of the foreigners, the Arrival of their ships meant the enrichment of the Philippine economy; but General Luna senses something much worse, something nefarious to the Land – the drawback of their much awaited Freedom. Their freedom was not only his personal concern but an objective of the KKK itself. As per the bullet encounter at Sta. Mesa, Manila, the military perception of General Luna was justified. Now they are fighting for Freedom. General Luna became a disciplinarian, harsh and decisive in battle and several soldiers and politicians were intimidated by his ruling technique. They made the President Aguinaldo to know he was the enemy of the state and so Aguinaldo was tricked. Aguinaldo guards including Pedro Janolino brutally stabbed the General to death and so with bullet including his trustee Francisco Roman, they were both assassinated in the Convent of Cabanatuan during the war. Later on, due to their loss of this General the war has been won by the Americans and Philippines was forcefully bowed down again to their new masters.

This was the storyline of the movie of entitled “Heneral Luna” made many people applaud at the end of the great show. It was successfully met and even surpassed the viewer’s suppositions on a regular Filipino film which is sometimes senseless; but Heneral Luna finished every touch of the scene an outstanding cinematography and script. Thus; since it focused on war it pins up a way to insert humour during the time of military conflagration. Besides with the mark of its excellent cinematic performance, the film was historically accurate and it is accordingly based on reality. Despite all the praises, according to some audiences, they were dismayed by the actions of the former government and the conclusion of the First Republic under President Emilio Aguinaldo which is also a suspect on Bonifacio’s death. In relation to the one of the darkest period of our History it can’t be inseparably compared to the upcoming 2016 Elections regarding the mistakes and decisions of the First Republic. It is by then concluded that Heneral Luna is a General with burning affection to the country and the movie is worth the ticket price and time of watching.


Frailties of a Strongman

The Hunger Games is actually an allegory of a democratic age when at a sudden one man found his way to power. Clad with the seemingly Lawful demands, white as snow, behind is an autocratic despot.

President Snow, the Ozymandias of Panem left by his people along with his ashes and a desert of sand as far as the eye could see.

Only a crumbled statue can tell his glory. The statue was stern and powerful. It perfectly resembles the personality of the ruler. The ruler was wicked but he cared for his people.

Little did he know, he cared for himself. He poisoned his enemies as much as he blight his country. None that is sore enough than his tongue of blood but a mouth full of lies.

“Look at me, I am awesome!” the inscription says. Only him could tell how awesome he was but there is no evidence, just a land ridden by dust and despair. Poor, poor President Snow like Ozymandias he was in self-glorification. But now he lies in pity.

He built walls, cities, buildings, and The Hunger Games to make his citizen forget what brutality there is that lies below his fingers; whatever the fickle minded puppets could do to please their master. Nothing but grandiose above and sheer ferocity below.

Little did he anticipated, a district that he thought was weak is strong enough to unseat him. How could he? He lusted for dominion, the only thing that comforts him. And, in the end, the only thing that destroyed him – the Mockingjay.

Remember his name, Corolianus Snow.

Look what he is now…

Lifeless here and nothing more.

via Daily Prompt: Uneven

Minahal at Nilimot ko, eX

Para sa mga naiwan, nasaktan at natuto 🙂
Pangarap nati’y iyong itinatuwa
Katwiran mong ako’y pabaya
Gaya ng iyong ginawa sa lumipas mong syota
Mga aralin ko’y aking inasikaso
Wag lang bumagsak ang aking mga grado
Subalit pagtingin mo’y tila nagbago
O! Pag-irog nati’y sawi’t bigo
Chat head ko’y nahagip ng iyong mga mata
Ngunit iyong ipinagsawalang-bahala
Gaya ng iyong ginawa sa lumipas mong syota
Para saan pa mga bilin ko’t payo,
Kung ibang puso ang iyong tinungo
Ibang lalake iyong sinusuyo
O! pag-irog nati’y sawi’t bigo
Pagka’t marahil ako’y pabaya, ganti’y pasadya
Sabay sa exam ng aking eskwela
Gaya ng iyong ginawa sa lumipas mong syota
Mundo ko’y agad mong ginuho
Mabilis pala maagaw aking pwesto
Allegro kung palitan ang reyna sa trono
O! Pag-irog nati’y sawi’t bigo
Ako’y iyong ikakaila sa bago mong sinisinta
Chewing gum kung itapon, sa paglaho ng lasa
Gaya ng iyong ginawa sa lumipas mong syota
Iyang mga bibig, tila kidlat kung mangako
Kamay kong bukas palad, oo lang ng oo
Hawak-hawak martilyo’t pako
O! Pag-irog nati’y sawi’t bigo
Tatlong buwan, ika’y limot ka na
Isang linggo, ako’y pinalitan mo na
Gaya ng iyong ginawa sa lumipas mong syota
Paiyak na minessage ko, meron ka na palang bago
Iyong sinumbat, pusong may pana ni kupido
“Oo, binigay ko ang di ko binigay sayo”
O! Pag-irog nati’y sawi’t bigo
Gaya ng iyong ginawa sa lumipas mong syota
O! Pag-irog nati’y sawi’t bigo
Minahal at Nilimot ko, Rodrigo*
Theme Painting: “Lovers 2” by Leonid Afremov

*This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either a product of the author's imagination or is used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual person, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental and is in no way an expression of tirade, words of rebuke or acts of tongue-lashing. Albeit, the piece has a relevant personal connection to the author.

Falling for Fear

What I am afraid the most?

          High places, in fear of falling down, uncomfortably make me shiver – every time I see how I am away from the ground.

          In my experience as a child from the Province, where trees are in multitude, local kids apt to climb their branches embracing the rugged trunks just for them to take its succulent fruit. There is a Mango Tree which stands its might so high and bears its fruit so alluring. As the frivolous lad I am, I tried to challenge myself in a stunt for the purpose of impressing and entertaining my playmates; and the price, the succulent and yellowish Mango Fruit where we all look up each day dreaming for it to fall; but it didn’t fall. So I was at daring mood and decided to pluck this this elusive fruit from this tree all by myself. My cousin jeers and so I began my treacherous and perilous feat.
          From one branch to another, as my memory stirs on my mind, there was this branch which is not fit to hold my weight. Then the innocent, innocuous and ignorant kid I was, I stepped on this nearly faltering branch just to attain my fruity trophy. Of course, I do not know what I was thinking I just took the impulse. Suddenly it breaks at the blink of an eye and I have nothing to hold on as it does. So gravity dragged me down and slams my body grimly down the stone-scattered ground. Pain is the only thing I knew and feel. After that, it came to me that I have fallen. My cousin tried to run for help and I assumed that he left me alone for dead! But fortunately, there was no blood spilling although I’ve descended intensely and face-down.
          Since then, I vowed to the gods and myself not to climb high and fall once more. Yet the memory of it still haunts me whenever I am up. Little do I know I have a mild acrophobia; the dreaded fear of heights. Not only this that bothers me… what also terrifies me is falling… for Love.
Theme Painting: The Scream by Edvard Munch

More Painful than Death

One of the reasons why I do not approve Death Penalty as capital punishment is that no criminal litigation is exceedingly faultless. Death, as punishment, is irreversible therefore the verdict must be thoroughly accurate and precise because the life you are taking away cannot be revived. This stand does not protect criminals but it does not save the guiltless either.

Second, the penalty will only decrease the pleasure of handing down the punishment to the criminal. If you put a convicted felon to death does it not make the afterlife a scapegoat from the incarnate suffering of the body? I mean, it’s not mythological, but the mere corporeal punishment of reclusion perpetua is a day-to-day misery of jail time. Who would want a criminal to simply lose his life only to evade the chances of everyday agony? Speaking of death and pain, it reminds of the immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt which says, “Absence and Death are the same – only that in Death there is no suffering”.

Third, the Penalty is viciously unchristian, inhumane and inconsiderate.

It is unchristian simply because life is given by God. Only such kind of being, if there were in existence, is capable of handling such judgement. Besides, the sacrament of forgiveness, which all of us christians continue to uphold, transcends the boundary of chaos and hatred to love – leaving us tranquil in the arms of God. Jesus never taught his disciples to curse the ones who wronged them nor kill them even. So, the practice of forgiveness is essential to Christian life. Don’t get me wrong, not only that it is religious but also rational. The impulse of vindication have caused human mind to resort to barbarity across cultures. Such as tribes who resort to the Law of the Talions but with wasteful relishes of vengeance – you take one, we take ten. Taking a life is not only irrational but also obsolete method of punishment.

Inconsiderate because it condemns us from our life by our mistakes. Reclusion perpetua is not inconsiderate because it gives a man a time to atone or suffer from his sins FOR LIFE, bail excluded.

The rarity of the Death Penalty served as a stepping stone towards the advancement of our Humanity. What makes our species differ from other animals is that we are “sapiens” – an animal of reason not of carnage, violence and brutality much like a beast. Death is not a good example to teach our citizens. The government is the rudder, the teacher. What the penalty teaches us is to surrender our life to the law which didn’t provided us life in the first place. John Locke have argued the essentiality of Life, Liberty and Estate, as Natural Law – but the last two are recoverable… the first is not. Therefore, the government must protect them at all cost. What similar to it is our life compared to a flower that it blooms without the mandate of the Law – all natural, god-given. The law is not powerful enough to stop the wilting of the flower but certainly not stifle it when it blooms. How could the law take away what is inherently provided? Besides, unusual methods of sending someone to die is outright cruel and inhumane.

The decisiveness of the new admin might have catalysed drastic changes, but I do not blame the President for such paralogical change. He is indeed the people’s President – well at least the vociferous majority. But the decisiveness of action ignores stronger reasons. And that puts number as the scale of Justice which as I recalled the handiwork of Pontius Pilate in the case of Jesus before the crowd that led the murderous Barabas to freedom. That is the problem, when the characters of the courtroom favours what they think is convincing not because it is the truth especially when witnesses under oath, lawyers or defendant are clad with deceit. The truth can even turn against the victim. Besides, what does the state do when indeed the litigant is condemned – thrown to a Death Row awaiting his final days to arrive for ten years which is as good as imprisonment. But, why do we need to kill? To exact vengeance? To know the truth? To silence? To quench our disgust for criminals? What exactly is the purpose?

It is good and more satisfying to accept this kind of penalty if the fact-finding body is always infallible. But all courts are not error-free in skinning the truth.

No amount of error is insignificant in a sentence such as this. Then if so happens, we serve our citizens no greater disservice by sending them to death when in fact they will be cleared later on when compelling evidence acquits the defendant. But Alas!… we have killed them when we could have just imprisoned them.

Just to remind, it took the life of our National Hero, Jose Rizal, which made me more skeptical about its infallibility on cases like Treason.

I hope the congress review the bill surely well.

Theme Painting: La Pietà de Michel-Ange


There are many other ways to depict a character to die, likewise, even to a dog. Oro’s incapability made itself only to blame. How come that one of Manila’s finest theatrical crews came not to a better resolve of the portrayal of the scene than actually killing a minor and lower character?

To the least of the blunder, it lashes out wounds to Oro crews’ professional career: it even taints and points doubts as to how they have made themselves professional even. Isn’t it a requirement for a professional movie-maker to be able to make a scene even more realistic, then why didn’t they made it so?

But, it did deserve the award – without looking to an ultra moral high ground, objectively and without making a typhoon o’er a teacup. Let us not look only to that detail.

The cast also made themselves commendable through their praiseworthy theatrics. After all, it is still a work of Art not some piece of carcass from the old MMFF.

Point in fact, the cast is not entangled to the crews’ mistake.

When I turn 18

The thought I worry most about is that I can no longer practice most of the freedom knowing each corner that lies ahead lurks a reason for me to violate a law and will get imprisoned!

Well, at least it opens more opportunities from dignified reasons like to be able to vote in both local and national elections or to goofier reasons like pervious entrance to night bars at Tomas Morato. Much stoicism and discipline is expected from those enter at this age.

Older age compels qualm in actions; older age should burn and rave at close of day!

Happy Beginning of my Legal Age!

Theme Painting: Saatchi Art:  “TRANSFORMATION”


“The Iron Lady of Asia died fighting, in her sleep; she died unconscious.”

The entire Philippines was evidently shocked by the sudden demise of one of its treasured solon and perhaps the wisest among the senators who ever was and ever will be.

Lately, we were talking about her with my colleagues when a memory of the senator came to our curiosity that her public appearance seemed to be greatly diminished. One of them asked me, “Is she no longer a senator?” I regretfully replied to her, “No. Her term as a senator has ended and since she lost the last election she is once again a part of the private sector.”

I begin the recollection of my memory of her from the days when I was an inexperienced kid. I often see her in nighttime news reports often yelling, screaming, joking and scolding other officials that fit well in the vessel of a kleptocrat. As a result, my mother loudly extolled in the middle of the house that she voted for the lady and impersonates her finger-pointing libretto thus sounds the same intonations as the senator – this makes me laugh and feel anxious for my mother’s mental health because it’s silly; but I realized it’s just entirely for laughs in the end.

Anyhow, the impression the senator left to me is the sense of Justice. Her incessant “corruption-busting” campaign left a remarkable ink in my mind. Her words gave me the primitive fragments of my moral and political principles that will soon be developed throughout the years. In practice, I admit that when I overhear news that disgusts me concerning the way our politicians behave behind and in front of the closet, including their monkey businesses, there are times that I give furious comments regarding how should they treat the people and how should they do their jobs. When I do this, I oftentimes remember that there is one senator who knows what I am talking about and hear my voice. I was 10 years old at this and I know how dark the Philippine politicians are.


Image: Santiago’s Profile in the Hall of Awardees at Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Awards for Leadership

Compared to my former approvals, I am not the only one who rejoiced when she attacked one of the most reviled politicians who came from my home province of Cagayan. Just to give a clue, even his fellow Cagayanos did not approve to give him a continuation in controlling the better portion of Cagayan, industrializing the province for the foreigners, ecologically harming the environment by black-sand mining and concentrating political positions to his relatives and allies. No doubt, Cagayanos hate this man but the lady senator was out there reproaching the old man. I feel like the entire province’s voice was heard in minutes or her speech. Not to mention that she challenged him for a debate, that was an uppercut!

I also remember one of my classmates in High School who vocally declared her intense adoration to the Iron Lady. I recalled her saying that she wanted to be like the senator and we both dislike the people she comes to combat in the senate hall. We shared political views about the lady and habitually includes her in our deep conversations alongside scientific breakthrough, philosophical questions, psychological thoughts like the behaviour of our classmates and our own assessment to their attitudes and reasoning (we include the hypothetical influence of their synergy with their chums) and religious doctrines that often goes to the absurd tinkering with the concepts of each religion and cultural significance of that religion to the region. Yes, we could create a caboodle of thesis questions mounting from the senator’s recent statements and it ladders up at least not in the technical derivatives because we are just high school students.

This simply means that the senator might have influenced vast amount of the Filipino youths including me and my friends; and her persona fumes a lot of intellectual discussion with my friend alone. That is why her legacy has greatly defined the pillars of my political, philosophical and even moral beliefs. She is not just a senator or a woman; she changed my mind and almost certainly my life and future. I will never forget the teacher I never met.

Remembering the Iron Lady of Asia is pushing me to pursue a degree in Law. It ignites my inner sense of Justice, my belligerent and spirited side. I will jubilantly tell my children that she is one of the greatest people who influenced me and that they are fortunate to live in the day that she lived to tell her tale. Right now, one of my primary models to my moral, political and more like philosophical principles have peacefully passed away. The kind of Senator I will always elect, the epitome of Justice, the Woman we will never forget will never die for the Iron she wrought never rusts and eternally honed by her legacy to the Filipino youth, to the country and to the world.

The Iron Lady of Asia made her niches in our hearts, her memory resounds undying, and for the generations to come, lessons of principles, that is the time when the Iron turns Gold.

“In my view, leadership is the courage to take risks in defense of a position that is both legal and moral. The politician who tries to become a wise guy by becoming friends to everybody – corrupt or not – is not a leader.”
― Miriam Defensor Santiago, Stupid is Forever

Miriam Palma Defensor-Santiago (1945-2016)
Rest in Peace Madame The Great

#RIPMiriamSantiago #PaalamMiriam #MiriamShallReturn
(Black and White Image from Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation Awardees Profile Section)

via Daily Prompt: Shine

Childhood in Crisis

Have you ever wondered in yourself that you have changed a lot since you were a child?

It reminds me of Adam and Eve when their story was told to me since I was 3 years old. The lesson, people are led by the devil to commit sin. I say, it is the fruit which tempted them eventually.

Like most of us, the inevitable period of puberty happens to anyone as a part of growth. It happens timely in simultaneous way on both biological and psychological perspective.

It is the time when the fruit is offered to us and we always wanted to taste it. Whether we are curious or tempted, doesn’t matter. At least, we wanted it and we want it badly. It is the time we decide for our own selves. So, are you going to bite the fruit now or have you tasted it already? But, how long have you been doing? Did you made to think about it, have you hesitated? And, think of it while you mesmerize your way to the forgotten past of innocence.

Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.

-Kailash Satyarthi

If you try to think like a child you would see the world in its beauty even though how rough it is. I had observed street children here in Manila.

Street children living in the slums, informal settlements (also known as squatters) who dismally eat their day to day nutrition at restaurant backdoor trash bins and sometimes, when a good Samaritan passes by, they are given a more humane food like fried chicken, hamburgers, spaghetti, fries, mashed potato accompanied with rice sees their current living even fun. Street children like these are free and even enjoys to run along the highway where vehicles run at about 30 kph potentially harming them in their stunt. Other children who lives away from the street but settles near the train rail or river are also in the same peril. However, this is not what surprises me.

The cases of rape, hold-ups, murder, etc. in these areas are rampant due to the lack of public authorities present in the unlit areas where squatters dwell and also to the looming illegal drug industry which lingers to these parts. It so happens that the children have learned to adapt in their place’s notorious culture but instead of treating it malignantly they somehow made a “twist” to the outrageous crimes such as these. Do you know what these kids did? They used rape, murder, hold-ups as a subject to their games.

For “Rape” they use female playmates to stand as a victim while a male playmate stand as a rapist and sometimes acts and says “Ibibigay mo ba o papatayin kita?” (Give it or die). Later on at their dramatic games, an acting Police appears and performs to stop the crime with guns. At some point they arrest the criminal and puts him to jail. But this is not how it ends, at another play someone will try to hold-up another playmate and tries to outrun the police! It even involves gun encounters and shoot outs when I was there. But to think that children knows that can be deeply alarming because they can harm their playmate at the point of having “fun”. Like the news I heard of that a child have pierce a barbecue stick right into his playmates eyeballs because of these games. It may involve real blood in the process but the children have transform it to something amusing. Can adults or even teens like us have the guts to laugh at things as morbid like that? I don’t think so.

The main character of childhood is innocence. Innocence now at crisis.

Childhood was perfect as these three white doves. I laugh when I remember that talking about private parts was an immoral taboo back then. It didn’t come until the second thought to me that a child with his innocence packs the world’s most cherished values. Later on, its chastity will be tainted and as time moves to his mind the idea of life was never been the same again. From the life of virtue came the life of barren survival. These dove symbolizes cleanliness, innocence and purity yet they are free to fly. We are free but no longer innocent from the sour taste of societal abattoir that reaps the innocence apart. For a modern world as such, Freedom is associated with Liberation. No, it shouldn’t be. Freedom to do what we think we should do is different from Freedom to do what we want to do regardless of reason.

In conclusion, I would like to imply that we should not act frivolously like a child or be as sullen as adults. We should enjoy life as children but think like adults because crisis we faced before as children are different from the crisis we face now that we are grown-ups.


*just a thought anyway

© Picture: Instagram Blog at Tumblr

Stunning Euphony

I want to share my age-old idolatry of a singer eons ago. My teacher made me do this piece of essay which will feature someone we adore most – a celebrity if I may. Then, there was this Juan Karlos Labajo which I am fond of watching in the telly on an evening reality show called “The Voice Kids”. Then, I made a research regarding his background; what is it in his mundane life? Then I am made to realize that this guy deserve to be known wide. So, here it is, the piece from my scholarly requirements. My high school essay about Juan Karlos.

At one moment the stage is a featureless darkness, an empty palace, not including the light. Neither glow nor sound is present. The next moment, the dish-shattering-silence will be bombarded with applause, invigorating noise, melody, and Dreams. The stage lights up, shafts of light radiates anywhere from left to right on the very platform. In the stage’s reflected rays of light, some not-so-famous juveniles become perceptible for a moment in the television in a prestigious pursuit. Some of them are affluent that they live in luxury and others live in apartment buildings and some in shacks.

Their voices are excellent that the majority might tremble in amazement. The coaches’ chair turns only for the one who pleases their ears with sensible taste and approval. Then suddenly the stage became empty again but the platform still at illumination. One boy stands and faces the mighty face of crowd with confidence, talent and charm. He sang as if he is the one who composed the song, altered the original with his own version. On our television, he sang “Grow Old with You” by Adam Sandler.

Eventually, two of the three coaches rotated their chair to his direction. Surprised with his comical facial expression in spite of his strong features, the viewers were entertained. The coaches had a fun time to have a dialogue with him but then he can’t escape the idea of choosing between the two of them. The coaches let him decide for a moment. Until, he chooses the coach that will guide him to his success, he chose coach Bamboo based on his hairsplitting calculations and assumptions to his coach’s talent and ability. His verdict will soon amend his fortune forever. His small galaxy will evolve, grow and hover high across the spotlight. His name was Juan Karlos “JK” Labajo.

In speculating the boy’s history it seems that he came from an foreign race but half of him is Filipino. He is a half-German and half-Filipino that was born in the island of Cebu – a prosperous land indeed in mid-eastern Philippines. Foreign visitors continue to stop-over to this land and for sure no doubt, by this fact, this led his mother and father to get together and fell in love. The love and libido were pressed on to manufacture a premium product. That is him – Juan Karlos.

Juan Karlos looks like a modern-day Adonis, biologically inspired and forged from a living metal. The characteristics that distinguished him from the others include his charisma, sex appeal, spectacular voice quality, height of a foreigner, sense of humor, optic white teeth, flexibility over setbacks, cordial interaction, and intense love for his mother. All of these reach their apogee in Juan Karlos. He, I could say, is one of a kind.

“I felt the sex appeal of this kid, “pop princess Sarah Geronimo, one of the three coaches told this during the semi-finals. Juan Karlos, at his very first appearance in television, have shown us this feeling also. We have our own definition of beauty but his charisma might change it on. His masculine beauty gives rise to human admiration and currency. His appearance is charismatic. In his admirers’ eyes, this belief is not just an opinion but a solid truth.

His name, Juan Karlos, was actually taken from the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I.  King Juan Carlos I, born in 1938, was the king of Spain since 1975. King Juan Carlos helped to return his country to democracy after the long dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. As the grandson of King Alfonso XIII, King Juan Carlos I ruled his Spanish native land to the best of his ability and proficiency. Because of this, Juan Karlos’ mother was inspired to give him “Juan Karlos” as his first name and Labajo, due to his father’s act of not recognizing him as his son; they preferred to pass his mother’s family name to him and to him alone. Juan Karlos, not just by name, is a king.

Juan Karlos is a supercharged talented man; streamlined to perfection and jammed with state-of-the-art genetic gifts. His incomparable talents exemplify just a slice of the capability of the modern youth to show what they could do as the representative of the human race to the near future. His talent as well as his physique is socially immense compared to a newly born star. So, as one in a millions of his fan, I was inspired of making him as my subject. I am radically enthralled with his charisma, physique and Stunning Euphony.

Theme Painting: "Freddy Mercury" by Leonid Afremov